WJxc Ride#6 Ciharus, Garut. Long dusty singletrack… (En)Garut, 22 September 2012
The starting point itself is an interesting place. Kamojang Crater is an old crater now become a geothermal source of natural steam. Although the area been explored and having a running Geothermal steam power plant, it looks like they manage to keep the Kamojang crater area in the same condition as maybe hundred years back. Yes there is some man made exploration wells but we still can see the natural steam small craters inside the rain-forest. A 500meters hiking from the parking area you can find these craters, these natural steam emerged from earth in the middle of forest.
Our track-builder, Om Hanif, is a geologist himself. This is why some part of the track he drafts usually going through a geology point of interest. This is why the starting point was a steam crater. Part of old Sunda mountains he said. Like other track he drafted, this track was still contain full of interesting parts and type of geologic view.
After going around the Geothermal power plant and steam piping complex we come out of the asphalt track and begin a single track. The track started with a ride-able part of uphills. Flowing smoothly along the hills with volcanic sand as the ground base of the track. The sandy track giving it’s own difficulty and special riding sensation. It was loose and very hard to get a grip of the wheels.
I was in some kind of help from my Specialized Carve 29in wheels which have more grip, but still the uphill was hard and exhaustive. Not too long that actually we found a non ride-able track, impossible to continue pedaling while we found a ditch-like track. Actually most probably a water line while the rain comes. The sandy track remains me of Galunggung ride. The sand was coarse, bigger than usually we seen. Different from the Galunggung steep part this Ciharus part was hard but still ride-able. Hard but marginally technically can be ride on.
Then we start to push our bikes in a narrow ditch. Struggling just to make it moves ahead. When the uphill end it was followed by a technical downhill session single-track. Down with some part a steep downhill into the Ciharus Lake.
Ciharus lake is an ex crater lake, a quite lake with obviously minimum visit since it can only be accessed through a single-track fire road. We can choose only walk/hiking, mountain biking or offroad motorcycle to get there. The facility was very very minimum. After being ‘slapped’ with an exhaustive yet technical sandy uphills followed by a steep downhill the lake being a perfect place to take a rest and regroup.
Continues the ride we found that the main course not yet comes. Single-track with technical parts descend lines over and over again between the pine trees. Amazing that the lines was flowing, although it was a single-track it flows, we can ride it all the way if we want to. Only in some minimum occasions of steep parts we need to come down of the bike. In my experience with natural tracks in my five years mountain biking experience, this part of track been one of the best ride and technically challenging.
The offroad ride was closed by a long and steep uphill in the middle of Corn plantation. After a long and enjoyable descend this long uphill was really an excellent closer to the offroad part of the ride. This uphill part was the hardest part of the ride, a test of endurance while the sun in the peak of it’s heat.
After this final uphill we descend and found the first village and then continued by all the way down to Samarang, Garut. The finish line of this 20km ride.
@antoix Track rating:
Landscape View: 8/10
Tracklog can be found and download in bikemap…